f3Oakland’s “Art & Taxes” event recap!

Blog, oh hey!  I’m just gonna lay it out there, I’m super addicted to my friend’s building events.  SO ecclectic and fun!!  I have previously posted a few recaps about f3 events at the Cotton Mill Studios, should you want to check them out:

https://lisabbowman.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/open-studios-event-f3/

https://lisabbowman.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/more-adventures-in-faire-y-fairs-the-f3-oakland-event/

This past event was themed “Art & Taxes”, I’m guessing mostly because it was so close to Tax Day.  I made a few sewn stationery items that looked like lined grade school paper and yellow legal pads.  I also brought some jewelry, scarves AND amazing treats since we usually kill it during the later hours of the event when folks are peckish.  What can we say, we know our audience!  Lexi had awesome dino hoodies on hand, lumberjack and narwhal totes, a cloud mobile that is adorbs and stuffed whales and narwhals.  The Meck brought amazing jewelry too!   Sold a little jewelry, sold some stationery – but killed on treats.  Like, $100 on just treats alone.  Word.

As usual, there was no shortage of deliciousness that was put out on the delectables table.  The food, oh, the food – there was such a spread.  I made Madelines, triple chocolate chunk chocolate chip cookies, and Black Magic chocolate cupcakes with Vanilla Bean buttercream icing.  My mom made (yes, my mom) made Lemon Tea Bread, the Meck made the America’s Test Kitchen peanut butter cookies, and Lexi made gingersnaps, a gingersnap sandwich cookie with lemon cream cheese filling, lemon mini cupcakes with lemon cream cheese icing, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and gluten free dark chocolate brownies with hazelnuts.  Yeah, you could say we all like to bake or something.

After the event got started, it was a little slow.  Then a band member from Mad Noise walked in and asked if they could do a 2 song set in the studio, and I said hell yes.  So if you scroll through, you will see a photo of them captivating the audience we had in the loft at that point.  They were literally amazing.  Such talent!

Can’t wait for the next event, and hope you can come too!

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Adventures in Faire-y Faires

In passing at my oldest daughter’s school one morning, a fellow mom mentioned a Maker Faire that is annually held in Oakland.  I inquired about it, and it turned out that it is a PTA driven school fundraiser of sorts.  That is attached to benefiting the StudioOne Art Center in Oakland.  I recruited my Mom and my Aunt, who had previously done boutiques and craft fair things when I was a kid.  Looooooong story short, I applied after the deadline and was denied.  I thought, well it didn’t hurt to see if they had any room, so maybe next time. The very next day, I got an email with a booth number and instructions on the Faire day’s events.  OK, so we’re in then. Great!

Cut to the week before the Faire.  We decided on a course of action and inventory, and what projects we wanted to finish before then.  It was an eclectic inventory mix, but mostly centered on hand sewn goods.  With some jewelry and stationery thrown in for good measure.  During the week before the Faire day, the folks running the show held an open house that we attended.  They showed us our location, which was inside the school’s art room.  NOT in the Art Studio.  This should have been an important distinction.  It was not, at the time.  My Mom and I decided on how to set up and how to make our section look cohesive, and then went back to finishing projects for the big day.

The day before the Faire, I was making tags for jewelry and applying them to everything, my mom was embroidering like a mad woman, and I even went to Kinko’s to spend $35 on two 16×20″ posters I made to highlight the fact that a scarf in our Etsy shop was featured on lilsugar.com .  It was an “as seen on” sign with screen shots from the site, which turned out great.  It turned out that our location though, was not so great in the grand scheme of things.

I mentioned we were in the school art room.  EVERY OTHER RETAIL SELLER was in a “Crafters Hall” on the opposite side of the same building.  So, it’s logical to say that if you attended the faire and walked that “hall” room, you thought that was it.  Because there was one sign, ONE, that was way above eye line and not even in the Crafter’s Hall to tell you there might be more stuff to see.  We shared this art room with another seller, a pair of girls; young, nice and one even worked at the school.  They also noticed the severe lack of traffic.  I saw a list of “locations”, but it wasn’t a listing of who was where; it was more of a list of buildings that were open.  Thank god I tweeted what building we were in, otherwise my 3 followers wouldn’t have found us at all!!

Ok.  I’ve mentioned I disliked the location.  I also mentioned I disliked the lack of traffic due to the location.  We managed to make back the cost of the booth, and a little extra.  This was NOT what I had planned, as I had broken it down to we only needed 10 people to spend $5 an hour, etc.  We’re there for 7 hours- you get the picture I’m trying to paint here.  Needless to say our experience was SEVERELY disappointing.  Especially after the folks running it had touted they get about 5,000 people on average at this event.  They may get that many people, but this wasn’t a Faire for retail makers in my opinion.  So why call it that?  It was literally all demonstration based!  There were a ton of demo stations, a ton of burning-man-types with really large metal toys that spat fire… which I really think is awesome.  Really, I do.  But this was not what I paid a $100 fee to be a part of that day.  I guess the fact that I asked to be inside was a detriment?  There were folks outside selling, I hope they had a way better day than I did.

The best part of the entire day, was that one nice woman approached us and said she liked our work.  She also said she was trying to find makers for an upcoming December event at Albany Middle School, which upon first thought was not something I was into.  But that was literally based on the time spent and wasted at StudioOne / Park Day School.  I’m a little more inclined to attend this December event, only because something good HAD to come out of that day 😉

See you again in December, when I blog about attending that event!!  Or before then.  I’ll blog about stuff before then, I’m sure.  Stay tuned, and stay crafty!!

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The Baby Shower

Holy Moly, I did a LOT of prep for my sister in-law’s baby shower.  I won’t lie though, it was a lot of fun to do.  I enjoyed all of it.  My husband thinks I spend too much time doing things for free… I respond with “I’m honing my skillz”.  I mean, you have to hone.  Otherwise you don’t have a portfolio to show anyone to actually GET work with.  Just sayin.

So, please enjoy the photos below.  There are a few that you may have already seen, so I will just link previous posts to them as they appear.

For the shower we had place settings decorated on a few tables and a buffet style lunch.  We also had a fun “Things that go pop” candy station table, with things like pop rocks and popcorn.  Just to poke fun at my sister in-law mostly, and have an excuse to pig on candy.  🙂    I tried to keep the theme from the baby shower invitation as much as possible for the decor, so you will see baby blocks, trains, and a few specific zoo animals.  I was able to pirate the actual image from the shower invitation from Papyrus’ website, which is probably a copyright infringement of some sort.  I can’t endorse it, but have at it!

DIY Baby Shower Paper Buntings / Banners

In my humble opinion, you can’t have a shower without a few banners or buntings.  You can’t.  You also must have onesies, everywhere.  In this case, it was my sister in-law’s baby shower.  She’s having a boy, so right off the bat I knew I needed a ton of blue stuff.  So off to Michael’s it was!

I’m kinda in love/obsessed with kraft paper these days, especially after throwing a bridal shower last month.  I previously bought a pack of letter sized kraft, so I already had kraft paper on hand.  For crafting.  Krafting?  LOL.  Assorted ‘dollar’ blue ribbon spools in the same shades of blue were picked up, as well as rustic garden twine.  I found adorable jolee’s stickers in baby shoe shapes, sticker letters, some adorable glitter letters in a teal-y blue, as well as “special delivery” balloon stickers.  I also found some really sweet packs of assorted papers, I’m pretty sure they were Shabby Chic label which I usually don’t care for – but I liked these even though some had florals on them.  I figured the shower really is FOR my sister in-law, it was okay to be a little girly with my blues.  So I justified.  The paper was square shaped, and I couldn’t immediately decide how to use it.  I knew I wanted to make a large sized bunting, so I cut large triangles out of kraft to spell out “baby zilli” with spacers on either size and to separate the words.  After cutting the triangles, I figured that I could glue the square blue paper sheets at an angle to cover about half of the kraft triangle.  I then applied the glittery sticker letters, and the baby stickers to the spacers.  After I laid out the entire banner, I decided the only way to apply the triangles to the twine was to sew it onto the paper triangles.  I used a super basic zig zag stitch on a really wide setting, and it turned out fabulous.

After finishing the large shower bunting, I had scraps left over that I was determined to use.  So a smaller banner was in order, for a special candy table that one of our party planners saw at another shower.  The table was to be labeled “Things that go pop”, and be filled with things like pop rocks, popcorn, ring pops, etc.  I used the scrap kraft, but discovered I could literally cover it completely by folding the patterned shabby chic paper over it.  So the kraft ended up being a stiffener in this case.  I’m okay with it.  I alternated paper patterns, and applied colorful sticker letters in alternating colors as well.  After sewing the first bunting together, I decided to sew this smaller banner together onto some of the blue grosgrain ribbon I picked up.  This turned out fantastic, until I realized I had sewn the letters backwards… which I then laughed at and ripped apart.  Only to be put back together in the correct order.  🙂  Don’t drink and craft, folks.  After finding out what candy had been bought, I opened up MS Word and put together a matching table tent for the “things that go pop” station table.  Pretty cute, if you ask me.

P.S. The “things that go pop” banner is on sale now at my shop on Etsy.com – Odds & Ends by lisaBbowman!

Baby Shower jam favors

I have a confession to make.  I’ve been crafting.  A lot.  I blame my sister in-law for this particular craft attack.  My sister in-law is due in late June, so we decided that a mid May shower was most appropriate and didn’t interfere with her law school schedule.  Yes.  Pregnant and in law school.  She’s amazing.

So when it came time to discuss shower themes and things, we had a dedicated group that volunteered for different projects and objectives.  My sister in-law really liked my other sister in-law’s wedding favors, which were small jams with the couples names’ on them.  It just so happened that my Mom’s orange tree just exploded – so orange marmalade was volunteered.  We found small 4 ounce Ball jars at an OSH store, and filled those.  I didn’t want to spend much more money if I could help it, and thought that there had to be a template out there for the standard labels that Ball jars come with.  Well, I was wrong.  There are plenty out there that you can buy, and that other folks have designed – but I found no straight templates.  So, I found a MS Word blank template online that was formatted for a 2.5 x 1.5″ label.  I played around with the formatting and put the train design from the invitation in the background.  And by golly, they turned out cute and I didn’t pay a thing to use the labels the Ball jars came with.

I finally decided on accents after trying out a few things on a sample jar.  I bought dollar ribbon at Michael’s in the same blues but different designs.  I also found very small “It’s a boy” charms in their baby section, which were 20 for $1.99 and the price was right 🙂 .  After tying a nice looking knot, I think they turned out pretty great.

TheJoyofSew.blogspot post

Hi everyone!  I am super excited today, I was notified through Etsy that a blogger and shop owner from the UK blogged about one of my stationery items in my Etsy shop!  Not gonna lie, big day.  Smiling.  So hard.

The blog is called the Joy of Sew, and is pretty interesting to look through.  So if you have a moment, check out her post!

Stationery set of 5 Sewn notecards by lisaBbowman on Etsy.com!

Stationery set of 5 Sewn notecards by lisaBbowman on Etsy.com!

The Bridal Shower!

And just as quickly as it started, it seemed like it ended – we all had a load of fun.  The food was amazing, the decor looked great and I was happy with the favors I doled out. 🙂

Here are the photos as promised, that I said I would provide in order to make all my latest DIY posts make sense.  Please feel free to email me if you’d like to know anything specific that I didn’t cover in the post.  Enjoy!

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ITEMS SHOWN IN SLIDESHOW:

Handmade Paper Party Garlands, post from 3/29/12

Personalized Candy Favors, post from 3/24/12

Personalized Teacup Candle Favors, post from 3/11 & 3/14/12

Personalized Matchboxes, post from 3/17/12

Planted Moss & Succulent Table Centerpieces, post from 10/17/11

Handmade Paper Party Garlands, DIY

I really had no idea that I’d do so many DIY posts, but that’s the way it is sometimes!  So, if you have kept up with my last few posts you’d know that I’m getting ready to throw a bridal shower.  Those that haven’t, go ahead.  I’ll wait.  🙂

This shower will be nothing too fancy, and somewhat small and intimate.  I have most of the favors completed, as well as my gift wrapped and ready.  I’m starting to clean the house, plan the menu and design a seating area in my family room where we’ll be stationed for most of the party.  In doing all of these things, I thought I needed some ‘shtuff’ for the walls and ceiling, as it’s not super festive yet.  I found a few images on pinterest and pinned them to my bridal shower board to try.  The original image inspiration for this party garland is here.  Unfortunately I don’t have a graduated circle cutter or anything like that, but I do have some Creative Memories blades and templates, so I used those.  I chose a bridal themed paper sheet from Paper Source, regular Kraft paper (on hand from the tags I made for candle favors), and a pack of gorgeous shimmery Blush transparent rose printed paper also from Paper Source.  You’ll notice that I cut each image out of the bridal sheet – (insert sarcastic voice here) this was the plan all along and had nothing to do with keeping the costs low.  After cutting what felt like a bazillion circles and ovals in different sizes and in different papers, I sat down at my sewing machine to string them together.  I also had on hand a large scalloped heart punch that I bought for Valentine’s Day, so I punched a few things out with that as well.  I made one horizontal garland with the hearts, and plan to string the rest of the garlands vertically from that.  I promise to take a ton of pictures during set up so that you can all see what I have been working on really come together!

Personalized candy favors, DIY

In event planning, I admit I may be a bit over the top or anal retentive.  Whichever describes the situation, I guess!  I was always taught that a good party has some kind of candy, SOMEWHERE.  🙂  So for the bridal shower I thought I’d look up the personalized M&Ms, because I had ordered them years ago for a friend’s baby shower and they were a huge hit.  I found the website, did a little of the “create yours” section, only to realize that I had to buy a minimum of 3 bags, at a total cost of $41.97 without tax and shipping.  I also know I would need more than 3 bags based on the fact that each one is only 7 oz.  I don’t know about you all, but my wallet hurts these days – so these are kinda out of the picture now.  No matter how frickin cute I made them.  Le sigh.

SO, I decided that there had to be something cheaper I could make.  I found an image on Pinterest of personalized hershey’ s kisses and put it on my board, and decided to try it out today.  It took a bit of trial and error, but I got it right AND now you can do this too!  (PS, the site I found the original idea on was priced at $27.00 for 100 candies without tax or shipping.)

1.  Go to staples or office depot, get Avery labels that are 1 inch circular mailing seals.  (short answer to your question of why mailing seals, because it was the right size and was white.  You can make these any color.)  $7.99 for 600.

2. Go to Michaels and grab a “recollections lever punch” in petite.  They should rename it to the hershey’s kiss punch.  For real.  $3.99 or $2.89 with a 40% off coupon.  Yup.

3. Go to CVS or wherever you can get a “party size” bag of Hershey’s Kisses.  $7.99.

4. Get home with your bounty, download the Avery template for the seals, it should be #5247.

5. Design your template however you wish, fill with color, add a photo or text, whatever your heart desires.  For me it was the bride and groom’s wedding emblem on a white background.  Be aware that you should make your image smaller than the circle because it is too big to affix to the kisses, you will be punching them out of the sheets in a later step.  Copy and paste your first circle to the rest of the sheet, print!  It took me about 15 sheets to do the entire bag.  Minus the four I ate.  Don’t hate.

6. Cut the sheets up into rows, this will be easier for the punch to center on your design.  The seals are actually too big for the kisses, thus the need for a punch.

7. Turn the punch upside down so you can see what you are punching, and punch away.  These are small, so I had a small container on hand to put them all into or risk them running away.

8.  Peel and stick to your heart’s content!  Invite people over to help, bribe your eight-year old or just do this while watching the tube.  It’s a mindless activity.  🙂

Congratulations, you are done!!  And you have something that people will remember for a very, very long time.  All at the total cost of $19.53.

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